Planet Rugby

Historic semi-final win for Glasgow

16th May 2014 21:30

Share:

gordon reid glasgow munster

Powering over: Gordon Reid

Glasgow will face either Leinster or Ulster in their first ever RaboDirect Pro12 Final after a monumental 16-15 victory over Munster at Scotstoun.

There was a fiery start to proceedings, embodied not only by the passion spilling down from the stands, but chiefly by the wrestling match taking place in the shadow of the home posts between Alex Dunbar and Keith Earls with the visitors on the attack. If the locals were somewhat unimpressed by the grappling, their disquiet turned to fury minutes later, as TMO Carlo Damasco ruled Munster skipper Damien Varley's try was good, the hooker burrowing over as the two were being split up.

Ian Keatley converted, but with the crowd now baying for blood at every perceived Munster indiscretion, the ante had been well and truly upped.

The attritional nature of the contest took its toll early on, as huge Glasgow carries were met with huge Munster defence; Casey Laulala, Ryan Grant and Josh Strauss limping their way to the sidelines, replaced by Andrew Conway, Gordon Reid and Leone Nakarawa respectively.

The hosts dominated possession and retained the ball well in the middle third of the pitch, Finn Russell getting his side on the board with a penalty on 17 minutes. But it was the visitors who looked most likely to score, Sean Dougall making a scything midfield break from which Simon Zebo forced his way to the line, but after lengthy consultation with Damasco, was adjudged to have lost possession short.

Assistant referee Stefano Penne brought forth the greatest scream of indignation from the Glasgow faithful after failing to spot a half-chargedown off a Munster hand from less than five yards away. The hosts rumbled on, however, stunted by more monstrous tackling from James Downey, but reducing the gap to a single point via another Russell penalty.

Felix Jones soon joined the casualty list with a head knock that saw him led dazed from the field - thankfully and correctly not to return - before Russell banged over his third goal of the night from the ten-metre line to give Glasgow a 9-7 half-time lead.

The pace of the game did not drop after the break, nor did the noise from the crowd or the ferocity of the tackling. Russell nudged a glorious chip to within a yard of the corner flag, and as Munster fumbled the resultant lineout, the Warriors were handed a scrum five metres out.

It wasn't pretty, as the ball squirted loose through Nakarawa's legs and Chris Cusiter had his work cut out, burrowing his way through tackles to within two metres of the line. The forwards did the rest, picking and driving until Gordon Reid stretched and thumped the ball down in the corner.

Russell slotted a super conversion from out wide, Glasgow held a nine-point cushion and Scotstoun was rocking.

Things quietened down barely three minutes later, as Munster hit back from a well-worked lineout move and more powerful carrying from Downey and CJ Stander to allow Dougall to crash over, Keatley pushing his conversion wide.

Scotstoun was on its feet once more as Zebo made a hash of mopping up a Sean Maitland grubber in his own 22, and only a hack into touch from the covering Keatley prevented a try for the hosts.

Referee Marius Mitrea replaced his colleague Penne as the most unpopular man inside the stadium as he missed a pair of crooked Munster lineouts, before penalising Nakarawa just outside his 22, Keatley reducing the gap to a point.

The introduction of free-spirited Fijian Niko Matawalu brought with it its usual blend of verve, vigour and unpredictability for the hosts, and though he had the home crowd's hearts in their mouths in taking a quick-tap on his own ten-metre line, he linked brilliantly with countryman Nakarawa to produce a monstrous midfield break.

Munster attacked as the minutes ticked away, but Tommy Seymour picked off a looping, wayward pass on halfway to scamper up to within ten metres of the visitors' line, hauled down by Zebo. Victory beckoned with 60 seconds remaining, but fantastic defence from Rob Penney's men yielded a penalty and one last chance to attack, still trailing by just a point.

It wasn't to be, as the usually reserved and pensive Gregor Townsend urged his troops to hold their line from the touchline, and they responded, bundling Donncha O'Callaghan into touch, and so treating the sell-out Scotstoun crowd to a slice of history in the making.

The scorers:

For Glasgow:
Try: Reid
Con: Russell
Pens: Russell 3

For Munster:
Tries: Varley, Dougall
Con: Keatley
Pen: Keatley

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Al Kellock (c), 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Ryan Grant
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Leone Nakarawa, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Sean Lamont

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Sean Dougall, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Dave Foley, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley (c), 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Andrew Conway

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Ita)
Assistant referees: Giuseppe Vivarini, Stefano Penne (both Ita)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Ita)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
More LV= Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720